In memory of Dieter Moebius who passed away last week, the Guardian published an article tracing the artist’s immense influence on experimental music, from his work in Cluster and Harmonia through his solo projects. “‘I was more of the ‘flippy’ one,’ he joked when I interviewed him for Frieze in 2012,” writes the author of the piece....more
Posts Tagged: The Guardian
With the publication of several new young adult novels by teen authors, Julia Eccleshare wonders if age impacts a novelist’s ability to connect with younger readers. In addition, Eccleshare returns to the origins of the young adult genre, and investigates the influence of popular works by John Green, Judy Blume, and Beverly Cleary....more
Lindy West on what it was like being a fat bride, and the public politics of private acts:
But “beauty” is a fraught concept. There’s an awkward three-way tension between wedding culture and feminism and fat acceptance – because of what “acceptance” demands of women in our culture, a lot of fat activism takes the form of fat women trying to “prove” that they can wear the trappings of male fantasy and traditional gender roles just as well as thin women.
(n.); manlike or heroic woman; a woman of extraordinary stature, strength and courage; a domineering, violent or bad-tempered woman
“I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.”
This week’s word is a mixed bag of meaning: is this virago a female warrior of extraordinary power, or is she just in a particularly bad mood?...more
With the goal of “encouraging kids to become lifelong readers,” the Obama administration has teamed up with charities and publishers to offer digital books to children of low-income families. The books will be made available through an app developed with the help of the New York Public Library....more
Back in the day, many writers adopted a pen name to “tell the truth without fear.” For some contemporary writers (e.g. J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith or the enigmatic Elena Ferrante), writing under a pseudonym is still liberating. But are pseudonyms going out of style?...more
In 1978, while writing Gregory Peck’s biography, Michael Freedman had the privilege of talking on the phone with Harper Lee, resulting in possibly the only interview the author ever gave. Now, he writes about their conversation over at the Guardian:
I remember very well how the rendezvous was arranged.
Manzano’s gift to us, the power of her presence, lies in the fullness of Maria’s humanity. While still being proudly brown and representing Nuyorican excellence in all its glory, Maria never became a caricature, never boxed herself into the facile images of Latinos that American television sometimes still offers up.
The idea for the novel Dune evolved from a magazine article Frank Herbert began researching about the government’s efforts to stabilize shifting sand dunes on Oregon’s coast in 1959. At the Guardian, Hari Kunzru looks at how the science fiction novel changed the world:
Though Dune won the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, it was not an overnight commercial success.
At the Guardian, author M.O. Walsh tries to account for the global popularity of southern gothic literature. While he attributes much of southern gothic literature’s success to a tradition of oral storytelling, he also suggests that it is the southern novelist’s ability to treat the “grotesque” with empathy that helps to create memorable characters:
Show me a southern gothic novel written by someone who’s not from the south and the odds are that I’ll show you a bad novel.
Last month Amazon announced it planned on paying authors participating in its lending library program by number of pages read. The system is intended to encourage better content and reward longer works. Now, the Guardian reveals that some payments to authors could be as low as $0.006 per page....more
Why do we refer to our minds in terms of seas and cartography, anyway? Find out by consulting your sextant and the first online metaphor map. The chart boasts over 14,000 metaphorical connections, sourced from 4,000,000 lexical data points by a few Scottish researchers who now (presumably) have some excellent new phrases for spinning yarns and embroidering thoughts at dinner parties....more
Recently, several novelists have criticized the primary curriculum in the UK for teaching a brand of creative writing that is too “complex.” For the Guardian, Ella Slater explains why she agrees with such criticism, arguing that her primary education has made writing simple and direct prose difficult:
As someone now struggling with keeping my prose simple and fluent, I can only say that I regret that the primary curriculum left so much to the secondary.
What I do know is that love reckons with the past and evil reminds us to look to the future. Evil loves tomorrow because peddling in possibility is what abusers do. At my worst, I know that I’ve wanted the people that I’ve hurt to look forward, imagining all that I can be and forgetting the contours of who I have been to them.
The true identity of Italian novelist Elena Ferrante invites much speculation, especially in light of her recent nomination for Italy’s most prestigious literary award. But for Ferrante, the decision to write in the shadows may be a liberating one. The Guardian explores why Ferrante may have decided to remain anonymous....more
At the Guardian, Sarah Hughes profiles young adult author Louise O’Neill, whose novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It have received acclaim for embracing “dark themes” surrounding body image, sex, and social media:
When I wrote Only Ever Yours it was at a time when I was so sick and tired of feeling shame around my body and so weary of fighting the fact that women are seen as less in so many ways.
There are a number of picture books with strong girl protagonists, however the majority of them are drawn in skirts and dresses. At the Guardian, Julia Eccleshare calls for more children’s books with “girls in trousers,” in order to campaign against this “sexual stereotyping.”...more
Men need not submit to small press And Other Stories this year, as the independent publisher plans on only printing women in 2018, reports the Guardian. And Other Stories prints 10 to 12 books a year. The decision was made in response to the revelation that less than 40% of Booker Prize submissions are written by women, and many fewer are about women, and a challenge issued by novelist Kamila Shamsie to make 2018 the year of publishing women....more
From small presses to literary journals, crowdfunding has grown into a major source of money for publishing. Authors are even turning to services like Kickstarter to fund their booktours, like Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star. Her successful campaign raised more than $9,000 for her book tour....more
Philip Larkin disliked literary parties. He also disliked giving lectures. His general dislike of public and social events led the British poet to push back against attempts to nominate him for a prestigious Oxford professorship. He also turned down the poet laureateship in 1984....more
A recent study by author Nicola Griffith reveals that books written about men were more likely to win major literary prizes over the last fifteen years than books written about women. During this timeframe, 12 Man Booker Prize winners and 10 National Book Award winners were primarily about men or boys....more
Before there was Google, there was the New York Public Library. Library patrons could query librarians by writing out questions on notecards. The NYPL found a set of vintage cards, and has been publishing them on Instagram. The Guardian shares some of the best questions, like this one from 1947:
What does it mean when you dream you’re being chased by an elephant?
In the wake of the destruction of precious cultural artifacts during the unrest in Iran and Syria, a quiet memoir from the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie, remembers the landscape and archeological legacy. The autobiographical Come, Tell Me How You Live never technically went out of print, but HarperCollins will re-release the book in time for Ms....more
In the finished novel, this journey will take up four sentences. My virtual mapping of the route will have almost no discernible impact on the prose that I’ve already sketched out – as adjectives go, “nondescript” doesn’t paint much of a picture – and, once again, what I justify as research might just as easily be dismissed as the writer’s tendency to arse around.
Serial novels are nothing new, especially in genre fiction designed to keep readers shelling out money for the next phase of a story. But the sudden, rapid success of fantasy genre series like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and the adaptation of Tolkien’s hobbit epics to the big screen has meant publishers want to cash in on the double-XL titles....more
Newspaper journalist Samuel Clemens would eventually go on to become novelist Mark Twain. But, Samuel Clemens was something of a story writer too. At the Guardian, Nicky Woolf reports that a scholar at the University of California has discovered and authenticated letters stories written by Twain while he still worked at the San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle....more
Margery Kempe, a 15th century mother-of-14 visited by religious visions whose autobiography is considered among the first in the English language, has just gained significant cred. For the first time, historians have been able to verify significant parts of her account, by way of a newly discovered letter apparently written by her son....more